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IT in Iran: Servers sold on the grey market, and the rule of FOSS
The head of Iran's OpenStack community can now meet without fear
The eXpat Files Usually for the eXpat Files we talk to folk who have moved to another country. But this week, Vulture Weekend has varied things a little to chat to 28 year-old Roozbeh Shafiee from Tehran, Iran.
As readers doubtless know, Iran restricts internet access and hasn't always been keen on freedom of assembly. It's also the subject of economic sanctions imposed by many nations that prohibit the export of technology.
Yet Roozbeh works as a technical director and cloud architect at a hybrid cloud consultancy, and serves as Iran's OpenStack community manager.
When we bumped into Roozbeh online and found him Tweeting, blogging uploading code to Github and building a cloudy career, we wondered how he does so despite the exigencies mentioned above.
Roozbeh kindly responded to our social media outreach and answered questions by email. So let's get on with his insights into IT in Iran, tweaked a little when necessary, but in his own voice whenever possible.
The Register: Iran restricts internet access, so how do IT pros like yourself get technology information?
The Register: How easy is it to download software?
The Register: Is it easy to run user-group meetings in Iran? Or is it something that is viewed with suspicion?
The Register: I've read the website for the consultancy you work at, Innfinision, and almost everything you do is open source. Is that because US vendors aren't welcome in Iran or do you just prefer open source?
We do not use proprietary software, but not because of US company sanctions or because they aren't welcome in Iran. It is caused by monopolistic policies in regards to software development and their source code. We do use products from Red Hat and Canonical, two companies based in the US and England, under the laws of these countries.
The Register: What kind of hardware can you get in Iran? Which vendors are active there?